One of the two headline stories of our recent Galactic Suburbia Episode 42 was the piece on Publisher’s Weekly about two authors who were upset about an agent asking them to ‘straighten’ a gay protagonist.
Nicola Griffith shared a video of her describing a similar issue to a group of students, when her own agent questioned why the protagonist of her second novel needed to be a lesbian.
Malinda Lo followed up with a very constructive post looking at the hard stats of YA fiction published in the US over the last several decades. In particular I found it interesting that she proves once and for all that the anecdotal experience of there being less lesbians than gay male characters in YA is absolutely true – in fact, it’s a 2-1 balance. So YA authors, time to add the girl on girl kissing!
Finally, it seems that while the Publishers Weekly was carefully not naming and shaming the agent in question, the buzz behind the scenes was not so kind. She speaks out at Colleen Lindsay’s blog the Swivet, with her own description of the phone call in question.
[UPDATE] The authors of the original post have replied at Rachel’s LJ, standing by their original post and urging people to focus on the bigger and more important picture of making YA more gay-friendly, rather than getting distracted in finger pointing or choosing sides.
In other news, Catherynne Valente provides one of the best responses I’ve seen to the idea of an Amazon ‘subscription service’ for e-books. I don’t think I know any writer who is more eloquent when angry.